“My business doesn’t have the time or resources to meet safety goals.” “We are more focussed on the bottom line of the company and cannot afford to waste time on meeting unattainable safety goals.” “We just don’t have the time for safety, as meeting profits and production targets are our prime objectives.”
These are some of the phrases that are time and time again repeated by business owners, CEOs and other managers.
Safety Vs. Profits – It’s all about Co-Existence
Very often, managers make the grave mistake of assuming that safety and profits are mutually exclusive. The truth is that these two top priority items aren’t mutually exclusive. You cannot have one without the other.
Letting any one of these priorities triumphs, not only hampers you from achieving your goals but also causes grave collateral damages in other areas of the business.
The bottom line is that “Achieving your productivity targets and growing profits isn’t possible by compromising Workplace Safety.”
Let’s take a closer look at the role of Safety in boosting Productivity and promoting Profits
A safety mishap can put brakes on your production volumes and increase the cost of production exponentially. While it may appear that cutting corners in safety can lead to increased productivity in the short-term, the long-term effects are opposite. The small gains you make by cutting down on safety costs disappear in the event of an unfortunate accident.
Let’s consider the scenario that a workplace accident or mishap occurs. What happens? Apart from spending large sums of money for emergency response, medical care and compensation to the victim, you have to deal with potential fines from regulatory boards, negotiations with the injured victim, loss of workplace morale, difficulties in recruiting new employees, bad PR and much more.
Apart from all this, you also lose on a day’s work or more. This lowers your productivity goals, ultimately leading to a reduction in profits.
As a business owner, you have to ask yourself this vital question, “Is it worth damaging the reputation of my business and losing track of my objectives just for the small gains you make by cutting down on safety?”
The answer is always a big NO.
Compromising Safety for Productivity or Profits always ends up being destructive to the business.
Here are a few top reasons why Compromising Safety for Profits is Never a Good Idea
- Injuries and Accidents in the Workplace weaken Productivity – Yep, when a mishap or accident in the workplace occurs, it takes a massive toll on productivity. Lowered employee morale, fear of further accidents, time spent on restoring the workplace back to form all reduce your productivity levels drastically.
- Workplace Accidents translate to Increase in Cost for the customer – More workplace accidents means you have to pay higher insurance premiums for your employees. This translates to a massive increase in your business costs, which can be recovered only when you increase product costs. This is quite dangerous as it can lead your customers to switch over to a competitor, who offers lower prices.
- You could end up losing your Overseas Partners – International firms are pretty serious when it comes to safety in their overseas partners. If you want to bag the coveted international job, then it’s essential to focus on safety in your workplace. Frequent accidents and injuries to employees signal that you lack in safety, which could lead to loss or termination of your overseas contract.
Ok, now coming to the big question,
How to tackle the Safety Vs. Profit Debate?
Very often businesses feel that safety pulls them in one direction while profits take them in a totally opposite direction. How to put an end to this never-ending tug-of-war between safety and profits?
As safety experts, we believe that the reason behind this debate is due to three factors. They are:
- Lack of Strategy
You need an effective strategy to help your employees make the right decisions in the workplace. Lack of approach often leads to conflicts of priorities. Workers with no plan don’t have vision. They don’t know how to understand the mutual relationship between productivity and safety.
The easiest way to overcome this is to draft a well-defined strategy for your business. This strategy shouldn’t just focus on short-term gains but should consider the big picture.
Ask yourself the following questions, “Where do you want your business to be in ten years from now?” “How do you want your customers and the general public to perceive your business?” incorporate your answers while you define a strategy.
- No co-relation between Organizational Strategies and Safety Plans
In most businesses, organizational strategies are drafted by the top leaders while safety plans are created by the safety department. There is no communication or collaboration between the two. This ends up creating further confusion for employees. They become unsure of whether they should focus on the organizational strategy or follow the safety principles.
In such instances where there is no co-relation when workers focus on safety, productivity takes a hit, and similarly, when workers just concentrate on productivity, they are likely to meet with workplace accidents and mishaps.
To avoid this dichotomy, it’s essential to include your safety managers while developing the overall organizational strategies. This ensures that everyone is on the same page.
- Disconnect between strategy and practice
In the few organizations, which have a safety strategy that’s aligned with the overall organizational strategy, there arises another major problem. Workers don’t practice what’s defined in the policy. The reasons for this can be any of the following – poor resources, improper training, lack of communication and so on.
Communication between the boardrooms to the factory floor is consistent only in a handful of organizations. Managers often assume that an instruction is communication. No. You have to follow up the instruction to check that it has been understood and is practiced daily in the workplace.
The Final Step
If your business suffers from any of these factors, it’s time to call in the experts. Improve workplace safety and boost profits by letting the experts at Totalika assist you. Give us a call at +91-124-6613137 or drop in a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can increase productivity, improve revenues by providing your workforce with the right safety training.
Let’s work together to make workplaces safer, smarter and more profitable.